Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Reviewed: Refining the Netbook Market
28 March 2009
Conclusion: At some point there's got to be some convergence here between the smartphone and the netbook. A smartphone is too small for some of the things you want to do with it, and a netbook is too large. We'll need a new interface (multi-touch anyone?
Conclusion: If you can adapt to the compact nature (and layout) of the keyboard and full-screen your favourite web browser, then the Mini 9 is a solidly built device that I can see lots of people carrying around in the future.
Conclusion: I enjoyed my time with the Dell Mini 9, but in the end this is not a machine for me. The main factor in me not liking it is how small it is. For a device this small the manufacturer should ditch the keyboard and make it into a tablet.
Conclusion: The Dell Mini 9 is fun, but suffers from a few flaws that keep it firmly in an earlier generation of netbooks. It seeks a balance between the bare-bones style of the earliest netbooks and feature-packed modern netbooks like the Eee PC 1000HE .
Pros: Small and portable, Firmly designed, Synaptics touchpad is responsive, Easily upgradeable, Nearly silent, Under $400 on Amazon, Runs for almost 4 hrs
Cons: Gets very hot, Only 8-16 GB of storage space, Glossy screen causes glare and attracts fingerprints, Strangely placed Function keys, Lack of F11 or F1, No 6-cell battery
Excerpt: Yes, the BlackBerry Bold and Touch Pro reviews are coming, but the Mini 9 showed up on my desk two days ago and I just had to post my thoughts on it, since it’s the first “netbook” I’ve really used since I sold off my Eee PC, and I could instantly tell what I thought of it.
Conclusion: All in all, I would say that this netbook is fair game in the race between all the other 8.9" netbooks currently out there. I would say they keyboard layout is it’s largest drawback, and it’s a pretty large one at that.
Pros: Battery life (little more than 3 hours on standard 4-cell), Silent (most times), Good low-light performing webcam (stays dark, but doesn’t get choppy/low fps), Nice keys (but the keyboard layout…..read below), SSD has same disk performance as a 5400rpm sata, Easy access to upgrade memory/wireless...
Cons: Keyboard does not have a standard layout (qwertyuiop is shifted right, apostrophe/double quote is on bottom row), Running on 512mb keeps getting Low Virtual Memory errors (bumped to 1gb seems to make issue go away), 16gb largest drive (SSD) currently available, Ships with drive compression turned...
Summary: Dell wants you to believe the Inspiron Mini 9 is "your new best friend." Well, kiddies, the Mini 9 is a fantastic mobile companion that helps you stay connected and makes your life easier without breaking the bank.